Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to have a lot of plans this January other than recovering from the December holidays and trying to pack away all my decorations before the end of the month. That said, my kids will still have energy to burn as always, plus may be a little more stir-crazy than usual given the colder weather, so we’ll want to get out of the house for some fun activities. And lucky for us, Orange County manages to have a ton of neat family-focused events related to Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes), Martin Luther King Jr Day, Lunar New Year, and much more in what is typically a slow month on the Orange County events January calendar!
Now through January 6
Viva Navidad with this celebration of the three wise men that marks the official close of the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort. From their website: “Head to Paradise Gardens for a uniquely Disney event honoring the Epiphany, or twelfth day of Christmas. Celebrated around the world in many ways, the holiday is known as El Día de los Reyes Magos in Central and South America as well as Mexico.”
Included with the cost of a theme park ticket. One day one park tickets for Disneyland or Disney California Adventure start at $104 for adults and kids ages 3-9. Children 2 and under are free. Advance theme park reservations are required. Parking is additional cost. Check the Disneyland website for more info!
Now through January 8
If you’re not quite ready yet to stop celebrating this holiday season, here’s one of the Orange County events January still offers to keep you in the winter mindset! From their website: “Winter Lights: A Journey Home magically weaves together an enchanting story of family through the eyes of a tenacious young girl who wants to make the world a better place. The show brings to life unique characters, including a science fairy and a lovable robot crafted from a toaster. Set against the backdrop of the Aurora Borealis, the show blends hope, resilience, and the magic of discovery. With Pamela Winslow Kashani, a Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran, bringing her musical talent, each song explodes with joy and emotion, resonating with audiences of all ages. Winter Lights blends a heartwarming story, with captivating music, and a theater filled with snow to make a perfect addition to any family’s holiday traditions. Book your tickets today and celebrate the holidays, science, and the spirit of the season!”
Tickets include General Admission to the Discovery Cube and Winter Lights Show including the Festival area, and start at $34 for Adults, $31 for Seniors, and $29 for Children ages 3-14. Children 2 and under may sit on a lap for free. Advance purchase through their website linked above is recommended.
Though it’s technically in Riverside, not Orange County, this relatively new museum which just opened a couple years ago is worth the drive over the foothills, we swear! A tribute to and celebration of Latinx art and culture, and the namesake of the famous and beloved performer Cheech Marin, this event at “the Cheech” AKA the Riverside Art Museum is the perfect way to experience this museum for the first (but hopefully not the last) time! From their website: “In partnership with Cultura Con Llantas, join us as we celebrate Dia de los Reyes Magos! Enjoy music and Ballet Folklorico, along with tamales, pan dulce, xocolate Mexicano y slices of Rosca de Reyes as part of this all-ages, free celebration.”
You had me at chocolate, but this family-friendly celebration of the cocoa bean includes live music, face painting, art projects, chocolate tastings, and more! This is sure to be the sweetest Orange County Events January 2024 has to offer. From their website: “Immerse yourself in a day full of family fun with free art activities, face painting, and lively performances from the lands of chocolate. Relish a variety of gourmet chocolates offered by different vendors and be inspired by the student art exhibition from the Santa Ana Unified School District. This event promises an engaging experience for all ages, blending cultural entertainment, artistic creativity, and the irresistible allure of chocolate.”
Free as part of their free family festivals which are held every first Sunday of the month.
January 9 – March 16
Did you know the Great Park has an ice rink this time of year? And that kids can take ice skating lessons there? Well it’s true. If you got the itch to skate again after hitting a rink around the holidays like I did, or if you wanted to give your kids a taste of ice skating but got buried under candy canes in December, this is your second chance! Plus, if they’ve still got energy after their ice skating session, I hear the Great Park also added a kids zipline to its playground area. This is…pardon the pun…one of the chillest Orange County events January has to offer!
Starts at $224 for an 8 week session. Click the link above to see dates/times for the various class options, listed by date, age, and type.
From their website: “Come learn about animals found in the sea! Class includes hands-on learning, fun crafts, and meeting zoo creatures up close!”
$5 per child (one parent included). For 5-6 year olds only. Phone registration is required (see website linked above).
Every child is unique, and they should know that no matter how different their friend may look from them, everyone should be treated fairly. Celebrate the teachings and example set by Martin Luther King Jr. at Pretend City this January holiday with a special story time happening twice during the day and add your dream for humanity’s future to their “I Have A Dream” wall.
Included with museum admission. $19.95 adults and children over 12 months. Military and their families $16.95.
Hosted by the Mission Viejo library, here’s the info on this Orange County events January offering from the City Hall website: “Join NASA Solar System Ambassadors as they discuss NASA’s Europa Clipper mission and its search for life supporting environments within our own solar system.”
Free. For all ages.
Jan 23 – February 18
It’s the Year Of The Dragon, an especially auspicious time in the Lunar calendar, and what better place to celebrate this special year than at Disney California Adventure Park! Bring family and friends together at this multicultural celebration filled with auspicious wishes for health, luck and prosperity in a joyous tribute to Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean cultures.
Event highlights include:
- Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession
- Photo spot in a themed pavilion bedecked with bamboo, peach blossoms, golden flowers and banners bearing serendipitous holiday wishes.
- Add your own special message of hope, health, and happiness for the new year to the Lunar New Year Wishing Wall.
- Special appearances by some popular Disney Characters—including Mickey, Minnie and Mushu—dressed in colorful attire
- Innovative menus celebrating delicious Asian cuisine
- Commemorative merchandise
- Kid-friendly crafts and activities
- Festive décor and more
Included with the cost of a theme park ticket. One day one park tickets for Disneyland or Disney California Adventure start at $104 for adults and kids ages 3-9. Children 2 and under are free. Advance theme park reservations are required. Parking is additional cost. Check the Disneyland Resort website for more info!
Got a bored teen at home looking to do something different and off the beaten path? The Garden Grove Main Library is hosting this special class for teens only where they can learn a variety of techniques for folding origami roses, perfect for Valentine’s Day next month.
Free. All supplies are provided.
This is just a sampling of family-friendly Orange County events January 2024 has to offer. We hope your new year is off to a wonderful start, and that this is your best year yet!